Norovirus outbreak hits hospital wards and border hotel

Five wards at Atnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry have been shut
Five wards at Atnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry have been shut

Six hospital wards in Londonderry and a luxury border hotel have been closed due to a norovirus outbreak.

Five wards at Altnagelvin Hospital and one ward at the city’s Waterside Hospital have been temporarily closed to new admissions, while the Slieve Russell Hotel in Co Cavan has also shut its doors.

Admissions in Londonderry have been redirected to other wards.

The hospital has control measures in place to stop the virus spreading.

A statement from the Western Health and Social Care Trust said: “Our infection prevention and control team are continuing to closely monitor a number of other wards and provide advice to staff.”

Norovirus, also known as the winter vomiting bug, is present all year but becomes more common over winter months.

Meanwhile, Slieve Russell Hotel closed its doors on Monday due to an increased incidence of infection among residents, staff and patrons.

Tony Walker, the hotel’s general manager said the temporary closure was a “proactive and precautionary” measure.

“There is presently a high incident of this infection in the community in Ireland and outbreaks have been noted in schools, residential care homes and hospitals throughout the country,” he said.

“Some of our guests who visited the hotel, as well as members of our staff, have reported symptoms of this Norovirus.

“We immediately notified the HSE (Health Service Executive) and the environmental health officers and, with their advice and support, we have taken a number of preventative actions over the past week to reduce any risks relating to this virus at our premises.

“The hotel will reopen as soon as is possible.”